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Extension Education

Sonia Rios
Area Subtropical Horticulture Advisor
University of California Coop. Ext.
Moreno Valley


The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (or ACP), is a tiny, mottled brown insect about the size of an aphid that poses a serious threat to California's (CA) citrus industry—including those grown in home gardens. The psyllid feeds on all varieties of citrus (e.g., oranges, lemons, and mandarins). The insect is a vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, associated with the fatal citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), also called citrus greening disease. HLB can kill a citrus tree in as little as five years, and there is no known cure which has caused Florida to lose at least 70% of their citrus production. ACP is widely distributed throughout CA and is becoming more widespread in southern CA. HLB was found in 2012 in a backyard tree in Los Angeles County. The presence of HLB in pockets of southern CA means it is now even more important to keep the psyllid populations low so they don't spread the disease. The objectives of this outreach program was: 1) to be pro-active and familiarize local growers, homeowners, and other citrus stakeholders in effort to manage and reduce the potential impacts of HLB in southern CA by extending research-based and educational informative handouts, presentations, and offer hands-on learning opportunities; 2) to conserve commercial citrus groves in southern CA by reducing the spread of HLB/ACP; and 3) to properly teach stakeholders how to scout and identify all the life stages of ACP in the field. The ACP/HLB outreach program included information for the general public; however, to establish a strong program foundation and have rapid impact, three general target audiences were identified for immediate outreach: 1) public land managers and relevant industry professionals (e.g. citrus growers, nursery, arborists, etc.); 2) tribal environmental representatives and 3) community gardeners and volunteers. A total of 291 participants had access to free workshops, lectures or field days. The University of California Cooperative Extension has developed a strong network of collaborators from previous invasive pest program work and was well-positioned to create a successful ACP/HLB outreach program and thus meet our goal of sustaining southern California citrus industry.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: S. I. Rios
  1. Rios, S. Area Subtropical Horticulture Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension, Riverside and San Diego Counties, California, 92557-8718